I think it is after riding the board a couple of times and I tell you exactly why in the review below. The Benchwheel is a high quality electric skateboard that will take you wherever you want to go. It’s perfect as a starting board or simply for people who can’t drop a $1000 on a skateboard.
Measuring 36.8 inches long and 9 inches wide, the Benchwheel has a very similar deck to the Sector 9 Fractal. Both have bamboo in their decks yet are stiff and designed for commuting and easy carving.
The deck is made out of different layers of material. It has a base layer of bamboo sandwiched in between 2 layers of fiberglass for strength. The electric skateboard feels forgiving but definitely does not have as much flex as something like the Boosted Board’s collection.
The entire deck is covered by grip tape which helps your shoes stick to the board. One nice feature about the deck is that it features a carrying grip cut straight out from the deck. If you run out of battery, simply pick the Benchwheel up and start walking!
All of the electronics except for the motors on this electric skateboard stay safe within a metal box that funs along the length of the board. Not only does this protect the electronics, it also features a very slim profile so that you can go over large bumps in the road without scratching any part of the board.
The trucks are generic and are made out of aluminum for sturdiness. For wheels, the only option is the ones that come with the board. The wheels are made out of polyurethane which absorbs shocks and vibration from the pavement pretty well. While their exact specifications are not given, I would estimate that they are around 85A which is a hard wheel.
Some people have experimented with trying out softer wheels on the Benchwheel B2 as the current wheels are very hard sometimes producing a bumpy ride. If you decide to go this route, I would suggest the 90 or 97 mm flywheel from abec.
With all of these components plus the electronics, the Benchwheel overall weighs approximately 15 lbs. While heavier than similar electric skateboards, one thing that makes it better is the carrying hold built into the board’s construction. This makes it a lot easier to carry the board around.
To power the whole board, the Benchwheel uses a Samsung 25 cell battery pack which provides 10 Amp hours for use. Using this battery, the total range of this board falls around 15 miles. Of course, total range also varies depending on rider weight and how you are using the board.
A nice addition to the board is regenerative braking. If you’re going to use the brakes a lot you might as well charge up the battery at the same time! This does extend the range slightly but results will vary a lot depending on how often you brake.
The Benchwheel uses 2 brushless 270kV motors with a max output of 1800W per motor. The dual setup allows for the equal distribution of acceleration to the board. This prevents the board from veering to one side because only 1 wheel was powered(sidenote: The original Yuneec E-Go was prone to doing this).
The top speed of the board is an impressive 20 mph which meets out other electric skateboards such as the Yuneec E-Go 2(top speed: 12 mph). That top speed also comes with impressive acceleration to boost you up all the hills you might encounter.
The remote looks like one of those RC car remotes. You simply put your index finger through the hole and grip it. The throttle control can be done with your thumb.
One fact that I appreciated about the Benchwheel remote was the fact that it connects over 2.4Ghz radio instead of Bluetooth. Other electric skateboards have been having issues with Bluetooth dropping out mid-ride leading to a very sudden stop – This isn’t a problem with this board. But this does mean that you can’t control the Benchwheel with your smartphone. Only the remote can control the board.
Riding the Benchwheel
On the road, the Benchwheel initially felt stiff under my feet. I was able to feel a lot of the bumps and cracks in the road. However, the initial acceleration felt strong under my feet. When first starting the board, make sure to brace your back foot so you don’t get taken off guard.
Carving was easy with the trucks quickly allowing me to change direction and go wherever I wanted. One thing that I quickly noticed when riding the board was the whine of the motor. While not especially loud, it was definitely noticeable as I continued riding.
A video shows an example of a daily commute with the Benchwheel. You can see the initial acceleration and braking along with the carving capability.
Going up hills, the board slowed noticeably but it was able to get up all of the hills I encountered. For reference, I’m about 175 lbs and your personal results on hills will vary depending on your weight. The company did not realize the specific maximum hill grade that this board could go up because of this.
The brakes functioned well and were able to stop me when I needed them too. They felt appropriately weighted with regards to braking too hard or too slow.
Throughout the entire ride, I felt good about the Benchwheel. It got me where I wanted to go and it did everything an electric skateboard should do correctly. The remote was intuitive to use and the board was easy to ride.
Issues with the Benchwheel
After such a good experience riding the board, I had to find out the negatives of the board so I could make a balanced review. And the one thing that stands in common among Benchwheel riders are issues with the longevity of the board.
This electric skateboard will hold up fine for 3 months or more but some riders have reported issues with the trucks starting to bend and the battery starting to lose charge after that time. While this is just a possibility, it is worth knowing before you buy.
Another issue that pops up sometimes is that the trucks will start to warp slightly. While a slight warp won’t harm your riding too much, if it continues you will be unable to ride your board.
One thing that kind of annoyed me about the Benchwheel was that it was hard to use as a regular skateboard. Looking online, I could see why.
You actually can’t use the this board as a regular skateboard because it might damage the battery and the belts the motors use to drive the wheels. A minor feature to some but still worth knowing.
If you want to read more about some of these issues you can click here(link). And if you are worried, don’t be! The Benchwheel is a very solid electric skateboard for the price. Compared to Boosted or Evolve, the board lacks a little but it also comes in at $300 cheaper.
For the price, I was willing to take the Benchwheel as it was: a great electric skateboard for cheap. If you want a simple electric skateboard for purely commuting, the benchwheel checks all of the boxes: cheap, decent hardware, and you don’t have to push.
And for the same price of the Yuneec E-Go 2, it is mostly up to personal choice which board to choose. Like small and nimble cruisers? Go for the E-go 2 it’s perfect for that. Want a larger and more versatile board? Grab the Benchwheel today.